Tuesday, September 20, 2016
It Is My View The Labor Party I Being Way Too Ideological and Impractical On Major Health System Initiatives.
Last week the Labor Party said they would oppose the Legislation authorising the new planned national screening register.
By Allie Coyne on Sep 15, 2016 3:01PM
Labor and the Greens are fighting the government's $178 million plan to outsource its new national cancer screening register to Telstra, arguing the sensitive data should not reside with a private company.
Telstra won the five-year contract for implementation and maintenance of the system, which will record the cancer screening results of 11 million patients, in May.
The register will replace eight state and territory cervical cancer screening registers, and one paper-based bowel screening register, to provide a single record for each individual. The system will interact with My Health Records, Medicare and private health providers.
The database will be used by state and territory governments, general practices and pathology services, and private and public health providers.
However, Labor and Greens MPs argue the data in the register is too sensitive to be handed to a for-profit private sector organisation to look after.
The government tried to pass legislation that would enable the register this week, but came up against the two parties when they combined their votes to send the bills to senate committee for scrutiny.
Labor and the Greens want to add amendments to the legislation that will mean only the government or not-for-profits could operate the register.
"The government signed the contract despite no legislation having been passed to establish the national register, and they are now trying to rush through legislation without giving parliament the time to properly consider the implications of their hushed deal," Labor health spokesperson Catherine King said.
In parallel we have this announcement:
13 September 2016
The Department of Health has disbanded the unit looking at outsourcing Medicare payments, effectively confirming the system won't be privatised.
The department also directed PricewaterhouseCoopers - the private firm advising the unit - that the payment system must remain delivered by government.
It reflects an election commitment made emphatically and repeatedly by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull that all Medicare services currently delivered by government would stay that way.
In an email to staff seen by AAP, Secretary Martin Bowles advised he's establishing a Medicare and Aged Care Payments Division from Monday.
Staff working on the $5 million 'digital payments services task force' - which was used as partial proof by Labor that the coalition was planning to privatise Medicare - would be transferred to the new division.
Just a few observations on all this.
First just what is the difference between Accenture, Orion and others being the commercial providers for the myHR and Telstra Health operating a Cancer Registry? We need to remember that it was Ms Roxon from Labor who contracted Accenture / Orion for the PCEHR!
Second elsewhere Labor has outsourced major IT projects in other domains (e.g. NDIS etc.)
To me the opposition to Telstra and the resistance to outsourcing the Medicare Payments systems are political opportunism and opposition for the sake of it, and nothing to do with what Labor would do (and has done) in Government.
No wonder we are all sick of the ways our pollies are behaving at present. They simply could not lie straight in bed as they say!
Posted by Dr David G More MB PhD at Tuesday, September 20, 2016